Welcome back to the latest entry in our ongoing Skin Condition of the Month blog series for September. As our goal is always to help our patients with skin care from head to toe, this month we wanted to focus on spider veins and discuss the visible veins that can negatively affect a person’s appearance and self-esteem. Spider veins can be difficult to prevent, treat, and fully understand, which is why our board-certified dermatology providers thought it would be helpful to further explain this subject this month.
Question #1: What causes the appearance of spider veins?
Spider veins appear on the legs and face as a result of the blood vessels becoming dilated. While the exact cause of spider veins can be difficult to identify depending on the patient, there are several factors that can lead to their occurrence including genetic factors, being overweight, hormonal issues, and natural aging.
Question #2: What is the difference between spider veins and varicose veins?
Spider veins and varicose veins can be similar in some ways, but there are crucial differences between them. For instance, varicose veins are typically about 3 times as wide as spider veins. Varicose veins can cause symptoms like heaviness in the legs, itching, or burning, whereas spider veins do not. Varicose veins can be signs of more serious health concerns like blood clotting, while spider veins are almost always a purely cosmetic issue.
Question #3: How can spider veins be treated?
There are different spider vein treatment options available including cosmetic laser treatments, but we often use a technique known as sclerotherapy when treating them on the legs. We perform sclerotherapy treatments injecting a liquid chemical called a “sclerosing agent” into the vein itself. Once injected, the solution is able to seal the vein, safely stopping blood flow, which leads to the disappearance of the spider vein over time. In addition to being very safe and effective, sclerotherapy vein treatments require no anesthesia and very little downtime for recovery. We have also had terrific success using the Vbeam® Prima Cosmetic Laser for facial spider veins.
Our expert providers have many years of experience diagnosing and treating spider veins for patients who wish to rid themselves of this aesthetic annoyance. Sclerotherapy may require multiple treatments to achieve desired appearance, and like all cosmetic procedures, requires periodic maintenance. For more information on our available treatment options, contact Dermatology Associates of Atlanta to schedule an appointment today. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more skin care tips and practice updates.